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Overview: Statement of Rackham Graduate Faculty Values, Privileges, and Responsibilities

The Rackham Graduate School Executive Board has adopted into its bylaws a statement of values, privileges, and responsibilities of the Rackham graduate faculty. This statement, a complement to the academic and professional standards that have been established for Rackham students, is intended to inspire and guide the faculty who for decades have made the University of Michigan a world leader in graduate education.

The Rackham Executive Board approved adoption of this statement in September 2023 after a call for feedback during the 2022–23 academic year that engaged members of the graduate faculty, the chairs and directors of Rackham programs, the deans of schools and colleges, and other members of the Rackham community. Rackham graduate faculty include all tenured and tenure-track faculty, as well as research faculty who are involved in graduate education. As part of introducing this statement of values, privileges, and responsibilities to the Rackham community, the Executive Board is undertaking an examination of the definition of the Rackham graduate faculty, to be completed in academic year 2023–24.

Overview of Statement

Values of the Rackham Graduate Faculty

The cornerstone of the university’s reputation as a leading research university is the excellence of its graduate programs. The graduate faculty have distinctive academic and professional responsibilities for guiding their students in advanced study, research, and creative activity, and for preparing them as scholars, researchers, teachers, creative artists, and professionals in many fields. The Rackham Graduate School expects that, as intellectual guides and mentors, the Rackham graduate faculty will:

  • uphold the principles of the academic freedom of inquiry and expression, and encourage the free pursuit of learning and research of their students;
  • adhere to the highest standards of scholarship, ethical norms, and values in the conduct of research, creative, and professional activities;
  • in the conduct of teaching and advising, ensure inclusive, equitable, and consistent treatment of students; maintain respect toward students as individuals; and, when discussing academic performance as part of student evaluations, maintain professional standards with colleagues and the trust that underpins the relationship between faculty and student;
  • support the academic progress and advancement of all students while recognizing the importance of student well-being;
  • promote and maintain an environment free of exploitation, harassment, intimidation, retaliation, or discrimination, or other mistreatment of students, as defined by the policies of the University of Michigan;
  • maintain cooperative and productive interactions with other members of the graduate community—including faculty, staff, and students—in promoting the quality of graduate education.

Overview of Allegations Process

Rackham has developed a process to address allegations that a member of the Rackham graduate faculty has consistently or egregiously failed to uphold the professional standards described in the Rackham Graduate Faculty Statement of Values, Privileges, and Responsibilities. This policy and process represent implementation in the Rackham Graduate School of the university’s policy for the Professional Standards for Faculty (SPG 201.96).